Unsplash is a Canadian stock photography platform founded by Mikael Cho in 2013, as he was unable to source high-quality stock images for his freelance website Crew, he got the idea to create a platform where others could freely download stocked images. Advertising is the sole source of revenue for Unsplash. Some of the companies utilizing this service include Google, Le Creuset, Square, and Harley-Davidson.
|Business Model Element||Analysis||Implications||Examples|
|Value Proposition||Unsplash’s value proposition includes: – Free High-Quality Images: Providing a vast library of professional-quality photos that users can download and use for various purposes without cost. – Accessibility: Offering an easy-to-use platform that allows individuals and businesses to find and use images for their projects. – Community and Collaboration: Building a community of photographers and creatives who share their work and collaborate on projects. Unsplash delivers a valuable resource for designers, marketers, and content creators, making it easy to access high-quality images for their projects.||Attracts a wide range of users seeking free and high-quality imagery. Enables easy access to a diverse collection of images for various purposes. Fosters a sense of community and collaboration among photographers and creatives. Provides a valuable resource in the design and content creation industries. Establishes a strong value proposition in the stock photography market.||– A vast library of free, high-quality images. – User-friendly platform for image search and download. – A community of photographers and creatives.|
|Customer Segments||Unsplash serves the following customer segments: 1. Designers and Creatives: Professionals and enthusiasts looking for images to use in web design, marketing, and creative projects. 2. Small Businesses: Companies with limited budgets seeking quality visuals for their marketing materials. 3. Bloggers and Content Creators: Individuals and bloggers in need of compelling visuals for their articles and content. 4. Developers and App Builders: Developers integrating Unsplash’s API into their applications for image integration. Unsplash caters to a diverse range of users in need of free, high-quality images.||Attracts designers and creatives seeking visual assets for projects. Provides a cost-effective solution for small businesses with limited budgets. Offers compelling visuals for bloggers and content creators. Serves developers looking to integrate images into applications via the Unsplash API. Targets a broad user base with varied image needs.||– Designers and creatives in need of visuals. – Small businesses with budget constraints. – Bloggers and content creators for articles and posts. – Developers incorporating Unsplash images into apps.|
|Distribution Strategy||Unsplash’s distribution strategy includes: – Online Platform: Offering a user-friendly website and mobile app where users can search, browse, and download images. – API Integration: Providing an API for developers to integrate Unsplash’s image library into their applications and platforms. – Partnerships: Collaborating with platforms, such as Adobe, to extend the reach and accessibility of Unsplash images. – Community Engagement: Encouraging photographers and contributors to share their work on the platform. Unsplash uses its platform, API, partnerships, and community engagement to distribute its vast collection of images.||Provides a convenient online platform for users to access and download images. Extends its reach through API integration with various applications. Collaborates with partners to expand the accessibility of Unsplash images. Engages photographers and contributors to continually grow its image library. Implements a multifaceted distribution strategy to reach a wide audience.||– User-friendly website and mobile app for image access. – API for developers to integrate Unsplash images. – Partnerships with platforms like Adobe. – A community of photographers and contributors.|
|Revenue Streams||Unsplash generates revenue through the following channels: 1. Licensing and Marketplace: Offering a premium subscription service called Unsplash Pro, which provides access to additional features, such as advanced search and analytics. 2. Custom Licensing: Providing options for businesses and individuals to license specific images for commercial use. 3. API Pricing: Charging developers and businesses for API access, with pricing based on usage and features. Unsplash generates income from premium subscriptions, custom licensing, and API usage fees while keeping the core image library free to use.||Earns revenue from premium subscriptions for enhanced features. Generates income from custom licensing for commercial image use. Charges developers and businesses for API access based on usage. Maintains a balance between free access and premium services to support the platform. Establishes multiple revenue streams within its image-sharing platform.||– Revenue from Unsplash Pro premium subscriptions. – Income from custom licensing of images. – API fees charged to developers and businesses.|
|Marketing Strategy||Unsplash’s marketing strategy involves: – Word of Mouth: Leveraging its reputation and user satisfaction to drive organic growth and word-of-mouth referrals. – Content Marketing: Creating blog posts and articles that offer insights, inspiration, and tips related to photography and design. – Social Media: Sharing user-generated content and engaging with the creative community on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. – Community Engagement: Encouraging photographers and contributors to actively participate and share their work on Unsplash. Unsplash focuses on organic growth, content marketing, social media, and community engagement to promote its platform and expand its user base.||Relies on its reputation and user satisfaction for organic growth. Creates valuable content to engage and educate its target audience. Utilizes social media to showcase user-generated content and connect with the community. Encourages active participation from photographers and contributors. Implements a marketing strategy aligned with its user-focused approach.||– Reputation-driven organic growth and referrals. – Blog content offering photography insights. – Active presence on social media platforms. – Engagement of photographers and contributors.|
|Organization Structure||Unsplash’s organizational structure includes: – Leadership Team: Executives responsible for strategic decisions and platform management. – Product and Technology Team: Engineers, designers, and developers working on platform enhancements and mobile app development. – Community Team: Engaging with photographers, contributors, and users to foster community growth. – Marketing and Content Team: Creating marketing campaigns, content, and social media engagement strategies. Unsplash maintains an organized structure to support its mission of providing free, high-quality imagery to a global user base.||Led by an executive team responsible for strategic decisions. Employs technology experts to enhance the platform and app. Engages a community team to foster a sense of belonging among users. Utilizes marketing and content teams to promote the platform and engage with users. Maintains an organized structure to support its mission and business model.||– Executive team for strategic leadership. – Product and tech team for platform development. – Community team for user engagement. – Marketing and content team for promotion.|
Unsplash is a Canadian stock photography platform founded by Mikael Cho in 2013.
The idea for Unsplash came about after Cho was unable to source high-quality stock images for his freelance website Crew. After hiring a photographer, Cho posted the unwanted photos from the photoshoot online and invited others to use them as desired. The platform – at the time a humble Tumblr blog – saw 50,000 views on its first day of operation.
Unsplash then moved to its own website in September 2014 after surpassing 1 million downloads per month. The company partnered with Apple to furnish Apple stores with images sourced directly from Unsplash galleries. An API launched soon after, allowing third-party app developers like Trello to incorporate Unsplash images.
Crew was eventually sold to Dribble in 2017, giving Cho the funds and time to focus solely on Unsplash. An iOS app was released soon after.
In July 2020, Unsplash hit 2 million contributions from 200,000 global contributors. The platform now employs a team of editors and curators to sift through the large volume of photo submissions.
Unsplash was acquired by Getty Images for an undisclosed sum in March 2021. Operations will continue as a standalone brand with Cho at the helm.
Unsplash revenue generation
Advertising is the sole source of revenue for Unsplash. Some of the companies utilizing this service include Google, Le Creuset, Square, and Harley-Davidson.
Through its Unsplash for Brands feature, companies can advertise on the platform and take advantage of the viral nature of online imagery. The company claims its images are downloaded more than the similar services of Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Adobe combined.
Unsplash stipulates that ads on its platform must be contextual and add value to the user experience. Ads are shown on related photo category pages or the advertiser can upload their own images and have them appear under relevant search terms. Brands choosing the latter option tap into a powerful form of advertising, as images are downloaded and repurposed in blog reposts, reports, or presentations.
In addition to collecting advertising revenue, Unsplash will also create authentic, high-quality imagery for each advertising campaign. Boxed Water is an example of a company that commissioned Unsplash photographers to create product photos in fun and engaging contexts.
At the time of writing, Unsplash for Brands is invite-only.
- Unsplash is a Canadian stock photography platform founded in 2013 by Mikael Cho. He got the idea for the company after having difficulty sourcing high-quality photographs for his freelancer website Crew.
- Unsplash earns revenue through contextual and organic advertising. It has worked with brands such as Harley-Davidson, Le Creuset, and Google. The company also charges companies if they require high-quality images for an advertising campaign.
- Unsplash claims its advertising platform is five times more effective than TV and digital media. Brands may choose to advertise by uploading their own photographs, which are then shared across the internet.
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